Monday, March 17, 2008

An Alternative MMO: LOTRO

(actual in-game screenshot)

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all!

This weekend, I went into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord Of The Rings Online. At first, the game seems like it was going to fail. There are only 4 races to choose from: Human, Dwarf, Elf and our beloved Hobbit. Each has its own racial abilities and certain classes to choose from.

Champion - Dual wielding fighter.
Guardian - Tank
Captain - Buffer / Support
Burglar - Rouge / Stealthy Trickster
Hunter - Ranged DSP (no pets)
Minstrel - Singing Healing Class
Lore-Master - A hybrid spell caster and animal tamer.

The character creation is good but not great. It's just your typical creation screens. Entering the world will start a tutorial. You could skip it but it gives you some experience so it's worth it. It really helps newcomers and starts the story. In LOTRO, there are normal quests and story quests. The story quest is one long quest chain that (I believe) goes until you are at least level 50 (max level). In this game, grinding is just not worth it. You get little experience from it compared to just doing the quests. LOTRO gives you a nice supply of quests and you will rarely run out of them. Only once have I completely emptied my normal quest tab. There is one thing that shocked me was bag space. You start with 5 bags with 15 slots each!

One thing that LOTRO has is a fantastic title system. Right from the beginning of the game, you get a title. This is chosen in the character select screen in that you get to pick where you are from. I was Neflight of Gondor cause Gondor is epicly awesome :D. If you don't die before level 5 you get the title The Wary. If you kill enough Black-somethings human gang members, you get Watcher Of Roads.

Combat is simple with spell cool-downs and auto attacks. Death Penalty in this game is loss of health, attack power, and other things. This adds up if you keep dying. You don't run back to your body because you don't really "die" in LOTRO. You just get defeated and taken back to a nearby town.

Lastly, the best this game has to offer is the graphics and sounds. I can't stress this enough: the game is BEAUTIFUL! I have the graphics close to max and I'm in awe 100% of the time. The detail in the grass, the sky, fire, the bags under your enemy's eyes, and the most outstandingly done water effects are truly breath taking. The sounds cut out sometimes which is a major disturbance. If I'm fighting a wolf and the person next to me does a fire spell, the wolf's howl will cut out and all I'll hear is fire burning. That aside, the sounds, when they're full, are fantastic. Fire sounds like fires. When you're running through town, you will hear horses and donkeys walking around, cats meowing, and the town's folk chatting.

Now, if you going to transfer over, please be advised that people do not tolerate immaturity in LOTRO. This game is a Role Playing game. It is also advised that you are familiar with the J.R.R. Tolkien books and lore. I have yet to have seen anyone act out of character. There are advice and out of character channels which are friendly and helpful. If you have a question, just ask and someone will usually respond. There is no need to spam it nor type in all caps. This is really what makes LOTRO amazing. $15 a month fee to play.

As far as I can tell, I'll be suspending my WoW account for the next few months to play this game. However, I will still support the WoW community and report on any game/Paladin news.


Mattarin said...

wow that screen shot looks just like a real life photo.